Importing Sketchup Models
Getting a Model into Moviestorm
Prepare - Download and install SketchUp.
The PC version of Moviestorm supports Sketchup 6; if you are using a later version, you will need to save your model in the Sketchup 6 format.
The Mac version of Moviestorm supports up to Sketchup 8.
1.) When setting up SketchUp consider setting its measurements to “metres” as one Moviestorm floor tile is one metre. For SketchUp 7, you can easily choose a template upon each startup. For version 6, you must edit the settings.
2.) As of 12/08, the “Recent Files” browse function of the SketchUp Importer doesn’t work, causing additional steps each and every time you import a model. A workaround would be to create a SketchUp Models folder right inside the Moviestorm Directory. Fire up SketchUp, go to Window>Preferences>Files and, for Models, browse to your newly created folder. When you open or save a model, SketchUp will now default to this location and when using the Importer’s browser, you’ll only need to go up a couple of levels.
Create your Addon’s folder - In your Moviestorm directory, open the Addon folder. In this folder, create a new folder with the name of your Addon. This Addon can have multiple items in it. You do not, for organization’s sake, need to have a separate Addon for each item.
Build or get a SketchUp model - Within SketchUp, you can access the official help files to get you started. Additionally, even a casual Internet search will bring up tons of user made tutorials. You can grab a Google Warehouse model by going to File>3D Warehouse>Get Models. Be aware that the Google 3D Warehouse’s Terms of Service states that the creator of a Warehouse model owns that model and that you are not allowed to distribute groups of models in one package (content pack or addon).
See the SketchUp Importer page for performance issues for SketchUp models, the Importer, and Moviestorm.
Save your model - For SketchUp 7, once you hit Save, locate the Save as type pull down menu and choose Sketchup 6.
Read on or watch the video - davidwww’s Importing a SketchUp Model video tutorial can walk you through the remaining main points. It’s based on an old version of MS, so, if you have any problems, come on back.
Import your model - Start Moviestorm and load up the Modder’s Workshop. First (and very important), along the top, under Current Addon, choose the Addon that this model will be placed in. Next, click the Import button in the top left corner and choose Import SketchUp Model. Browse to the location of your model and, under Moviestorm name, give it a unique name (ex. Television_AB_01). You could now hit Convert and get a working model or see the SketchUp Importer page for a full description of the selectable options.
Publish your Addon - Login as a Publisher and, making sure to untick Requires a License, publish this model’s Addon in the Master Browser.
Restart the Modder’s Workshop - The ModShop must now be restarted in order for your model to appear in the prop list of the Master Browser.
Apply settings to your prop - When a prop is scalable, can be walked on, or can stack on top of other props, it’s because of the settings applied to it.
a.) In the list of props locate your prop and, above the Textures and Templates folders, left-click on its name. This menu doesn’t have a name at the moment, so, we’ll call it the “Descriptor” as that is the name of the file that it writes once you save it (DESCRIPTOR). Some of its options do not function (???).
b.) Choose your settings, the most common of which is Scalable and choose or create at least one tag for categorization.
Save the Descriptor - Scroll down to the bottom right (you might have to expand the window) and hit Save. There will not be a dialogue box but, yes, it did save.
Your model is now ready to use in Moviestorm. Shutdown the Modshop, restart Moviestorm, load up a movie, and locate it in props list.
Note: The textures applied to the model are the ones from Sketchup. They are used as the Diffuse texture and your model is lacking Specular, Normal, and/or Emissive textures. Because of this, your model will seem cartoonish and lacking in detail compared to the Moviestorm assets. To learn how to create these detail enhancing textures, go to Textures. To apply these textures to your model, continue on.
Applying New or Additional Textures to a Sketchup Model
This section assumes that you’ve gone to Textures, created your new textures, and saved them in the appropriate location.
Find your prop - Once the Modder’s Workshop has been restarted, go to the Master Browser and open the Props folder. Browse through, locate, and click the “+” next to your prop. The Textures folder only lists the textures that are in your prop’s folder. You cannot interact with those files. The Templates folder will have the template that the SketchUp Importer created for this prop. A Template is basically a blueprint which tells Moviestorm how to show a model and what characteristics its textures have. You can make variations of a single model by creating new Templates. Then, when you customize an item in Moviestorm, you’ll be able to pick from the different variations. Click the template.
Add textures to the materials - When dealing with models, Materials are all of the surfaces of a model that shared the same texture when the model was imported. Two surfaces can be on opposite sides of a model, however, if they were both given the same texture in the modelling program, when selecting a Material and applying a texture, it will be applied to both of the surfaces. Right now the materials only have Diffuse textures. You need to designate which textures are used, which ones the materials “point to”.
Note: Steps A and B will be expanded as the Textures category is expanded.
a.) Scroll down and in the list of Materials, click the first one. It is now the “active” material and any textures (and their settings) you designate will be applied to it. In the space below, that has Ambient, Diffuse, Specular, and Emissive buttons, the textures applied to this material are listed. The only way to tell which surface this material is, is to have, for .png or .jpg images, a browser window open to your Moviestorm directory Addon\YOUR_ADDON\Data\Props\YOUR_PROP\Textures, or for .dds, and image editor browsed to that same location. So, if the first Material’s Diffuse texture is “Textures\texture00.png” you can look at your browser, see texture00, and then locate where it is on the model. You can have one of each type of textures applied to a material and the steps are the same for Diffuse, Specular, Normal Map, and Emissive.
b.) Click the “Browse” button to the right of the Diffuse texture type. This opens the Modshop file manager. Its default is the Textures folder of the prop that you’re currently in. If you have a texture in that folder and you choose it, it will be applied to the material. However, if you browse up to use a texture outside of your prop’s Textures folder, the material will turn light grey when you apply the texture. This is a Modshop bug. The file path for the texture is incorrectly written and the Modshop cannot locate it. To fix this, simply click in and scroll to the left of the file path and delete everything to the left of “Data” and hit “enter”. If the texture remains light grey, check to make sure that there are no spaces in the file path. Sometimes the Modshop will add them and the toughest to spot are the ones hiding after a ” _ “. Repeat this step for the Specular, Normal Map, and Emissive (if needed).
c.) Apply settings (shininess, invisible to camera, etc.), as needed, for the textures on this material.
d.) Repeat all of these steps for each of the materials that your model contains.
e.) Scroll down to the bottom right (you may have to expand the window) and hit save.
Publish your Addon - Login as a Publisher and, making sure to untick “Requires a License”, publish this model’s Addon in the Master Browser.
Once again, your model is ready for use in Moviestorm.